Oscilloscope Laboratories will release Keith Miller’s quietly absorbing work of cinema verite, Welcome To Pine Hill, starting on March 1 at IFC in NYC.
The film follows a recently reformed drug dealer, now working as a claims adjuster by day and bouncer by night, who receives some earth-shattering news, forcing him to make peace with himself.
It’s a work of art that received enough votes to appear on the S&A Best of 2012 list, a film that blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction, presenting an atmospheric depiction of a journey to self-discovery and spiritual redemption, taken by an unlikely cinematic lead character – a lonely, single, relatively quiet black male in his 20s, who cuts an imposing figure, but who carries himself with a tenderness you wouldn’t usually see in depictions of black men on screen.
In our review of it, we called it, the “un-urban,” “urban” film, with a lead character that Hollywood wouldn’t know what to do with.
Made in collaboration with the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, a group which writer/director Miller belongs, the film, a 2011 Independent Filmmaker Lab participant, World Premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival last year, where it won the Grand Jury Award.
What may not be as widely-known is that the narrative, inspired by a chance encounter between director Miller and the film’s star Shannon Harper, who found themselves fighting over a lost dog one night in Brooklyn, NY, has its beginnings in a short film, titled Prince/William, before it was expanded into the feature film we know as Welcome To Pinehill.
S&A has been granted an exclusive look at that short film, Prince/William, which you’re encouraged to watch in full below. At the very least, it gives you a glimpse at the style in which the feature film is made, as well as the star of the feature film, Shannon Harper, playing opposite the director himself.
It’s just under 8 minutes long: